Click. Trash. Click. Trash. If you have an email account, you know this routine too well. The average business user receives nearly 100 emails per day, and most of that is generated automatically. No wonder click-through rates are now as low as 1-3 percent.
And yet email isn’t going anywhere: It’s far and away the dominant means to communicate in business. What’s desperately needed, however, is a way for businesses to create messages that cut through the clutter and avoid the trash bin.
Enter ViewedIt. At Vidyard, we’ve created a more impactful, personal way to communicate via email by harnessing the power of video. ViewedIt is a unique tool to create, send and track personalized videos via email — one that’s so easy, anyone can use it in a couple of clicks. And today, I’m proud to announce the launch of our enterprise version.
My quest for a better business communication tool
ViewedIt instantly opens up a world of possibilities far beyond what’s offered by today’s business communication tools, from text and emails to phone calls. Each has its strengths, but also serious drawbacks.
There’s a reason we still make phone calls, after all: they’re personal and one-to-one, and there’s still tremendous power in hearing the human voice. Nonetheless, people now text each other five times more than they call each other. It’s no mystery why. Phone calls are disruptive and inefficient, and can intrude upon others’ schedules.
Email, on the other hand, enables people to connect on their own time. But, not only are recipients today frustrated with the volume of machine-generated messages, text on a screen just can’t deliver the impact of a face-to-face interaction. No matter how well you write, there’s always something missing.
With video, people can hear your voice, while also seeing your expressions, body language and gestures. It should come as no surprise that 62 percent of millennials prefer to watch a video from a company than read text. But video-calling platforms such as Skype and FaceTime are even more disruptive than old-fashioned phone calls, and uploading videos to streaming sites like YouTube is too time-consuming and cumbersome for one-to-one communication.
An ideal business communication tool would bring together the strengths of video, phone and email, with none of the drawbacks. And that’s exactly what we set our sights on creating.
The power of personal video
With ViewedIt, it’s literally one click to start recording on your webcam, and one click to send the result. It’s even easier than composing and typing out an email. You don’t need to worry about grammar or spelling — you just talk. You can opt to just record yourself or get a live recording of your computer screen, as well, for product demonstrations or how-tos.
When you drop a ViewedIt recording into an e-mail composer, a thumbnail of the video appears. You can smile, wave or write a handwritten, personal message to show on-screen, letting each of your recipients know you’ve created something just for them.
The payoff of personalization can be extraordinary. We’ve seen that when people customize video messages, conversion rates increase by 450 percent, open-response rates improve by 800 percent and viewers engage 80-percent longer.
But don’t take our word for it. For businesses using ViewedIt Enterprise, a full analytics package lets you track which videos are being viewed and by whom. Those figures can be pushed directly to your CRM software.
Ultimately, the applications for ViewedIt are as limitless as for email itself. If you’re in inside sales, you can record and send prospecting videos with attention-grabbing product walk-throughs using ViewedIt’s screen-recording function. For your new customers, you can bring them on board with custom-created welcome messages and how-to-get-started videos. If you’re a team leader, you can send weekly video messages to your team and share slides. If you’re in customer support, you can walk clients through step-by-step instructions or send canned demos for common problems.
A new direction for business communications
Above all, we wanted to make it effortlessly simple to create personalized videos and share them via email — so simple, in fact, that it could truly transform how people communicate. To be clear, we didn’t develop ViewedIt so people could make elaborate videos for the masses. That’s why YouTube exists. Rather, we want people to have personal conversations with each other using video.
The deeper reality is that imagery and video are quickly becoming the preferred means of communication today. Businesses clinging to “text tunnel-vision” risk finding themselves left behind. There’s a reason why Facebook has predicted that our newsfeeds may soon be entirely video-based: video is increasingly how people “talk.” It’s quicker, more efficient and more personal than any communication tool out there … and now there’s a one-click way for businesses to get on board.
We’re incredibly proud to have created ViewedIt Enterprise. We’ve made it exceedingly simple, yet packed with powerful features we think can transform how people communicate in business. Ultimately, however, its potential is as vast and as unlimited as where people imagine they can take it.
Michael is the CEO and Co-Founder of Vidyard. In addition to growing Vidyard’s success, he is actively involved in the technology sector, acting as a mentor to various early stage companies.